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Posted: 6/4/2003 2:24:42 PM EDT
I have wanted to join the military for a while now, and I was just talking with a recruiter and is sounds really good. I already took the asvat or something like that its a test and I passed it, seemed real easy. anyways since I am going to college I would get it paid for and also I can do ROTC while I am in college and make more money from the Guard while being a officer. it looks like I would be making about 1100 a month from the guard while that isn't much its only part time and I would have to work somewhere else. so what do you guys think, any recomendations on jobs, the recruiter was saying infantry, recon scout and armored tank divisions all make good money. thoughts I don't want to make a big mistake
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 2:46:21 PM EDT
I have been in the National Guard for six years now, ever since my senior year of high school. It is undoubtably the defining decision of my life. Basic training and AIT turned me into a man, and I was able to go to college for free. The Florida Guard pays 100% tuition assistance at all state-funded colleges and universites (no private schools), and the GI Bill check is always a nice little surprise in the mail. A few things I think you should know, however, based on my personal experiences. First of all, don't let the recruiter tell you that as a college student you will be exempt from wartime callups or national emergency activations. I was told that college students don't have to go anywhere during school, and I have never found this to be true. I have had to drop classes during three separate semesters because of deployments, hurricanes, etc. Expect it, if you join. The Guard will always come first, especially since they are the ones paying for your school. Another thing, the Guard is not the regular army, much as it sometimes tries to be. I consider myself a good soldier (always pass PT text, expert weapons, never awol, etc.) and am very often dissapointed with the low standards and "old-boy" system that the guard is subject to. If you are a good soldier, plan on carrying the load of the bad soldiers, and watching them get away with things you wouldn't dream of doing, all the time. If I could do things differently, I would have joined the Infantry unit down south, rather than the Air Defence unit I am in, so that I could have attended Air Assault school and all the other high speed stuff they do. Lastly, if you are thinking about joining a unit, go drill with them one weekend before you sign up, just to make sure. Many times I have seen high school kids in civvies come out to the field with us and play around with the systems before they join up. Every unit should be willing to let you do this as an enticement to join up, and it is a great way to help yourself decide what you really want.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 4:24:02 PM EDT
One thing is be prepared to deploy due to the current military actions the US is involved in. In NY, activated guard units are being rotated through the physical security duties in NYC. If you go combat arms you are less likley to be deployed overseas, but much more likley to draw a homeland security assignment. If you go combat support then be prepared to rotate through either Irac or Afganland sometime in your 8 year commitment. Combat arms MOS get the biggest enlistment kickers. Make sure you get EVERYTHING in writing. Don't let the recruter tell you that you can apply for a program once you get on active duty. Take full advantage of the state school system, the guard will pay 100% of your tuition. If you want to be an officer, check out the SMP program. During the first gulf war, SMP cadets didn't deploy with most of their units because they aren't MOS qualified.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 4:38:10 PM EDT
Go on a drill weekend for that unit and talk with the guys, low ranking guys. Go SMP while in ROTC, extra cash and you don't have to clean the toilets.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 5:05:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/4/2003 5:06:30 PM EDT by ChairborneRanger]
I was in both the Michigan and the Minnesota Guard for a total of 6 years.....of course, that was 30 years ago. Evidently, we were pretty effective......Wisconsin never even tried to invade----not even once![;)]
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 5:37:48 PM EDT
AvengeR15, is right on the mark. It can be a great experience and offer lots of benefits. However, don't for a minute think it is just "playing Army" on the weekends. I know quite a few regular army guys who never got called up during wartime but my buddies in the NG, Coast Guard, etc. sure did.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 5:58:28 PM EDT
Just try not to shoot any college kids...
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 6:13:14 PM EDT
Also agree with Sgt Gold and AvengeR15. I just retired after 28 years with the Army Reserve. Depending how you look at it, was either lucky or left out, no deployments. But plenty of my fellow officers were deployed to ODS and many friends are still in Iraq and Kuwait. The NG also gives you the added benefits of responding to natural disasters. Just consider one thing: that the 2 weeks each summer and a weekend a month are just an advertisement. Wanna buy a bridge? On the other hand, peace-time or not, I met great men, loved the feeling of laying the battery and getting a round downrange in 8 minutes flat, of looking back while crossing the Tappan Zee over the Hudson and realizing all that shit was following ME, planning 2 1/2 weeks of training and overseeing its execution as an S-3, etc., etc. Can't do that stuff working for Ma Bell. I even enjoyed qualification weekends (officers often get to shoot way more than the basic qual as once the ammo is opened, it can't be returned (aw shucks) My battalion which was inactivated in 94 with the elimination of all combat arms from the army reserve, still has regular reunions, an email chain, etc. Put most simply, its not a decision to be made lightly- I did miss one son's communion and the other son's confirmation, left my wife just a week after our first son was born for annual training, and too many weddings and birthdays to bother counting. But I know that I prioritized correctly. And at age 60 I will be looking at $1K a month, just for doing this "part-time" job.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 7:41:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Motor_City_Tactical: Just try not to shoot any college kids...
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what? did someone go on a shooting spree? anyways the place I went today was the same armory where the crazy guy stole the tank and was driving on the freeway.
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 7:58:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1911greg:
Originally Posted By Motor_City_Tactical: Just try not to shoot any college kids...
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what? did someone go on a shooting spree? anyways the place I went today was the same armory where the crazy guy stole the tank and was driving on the freeway.
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time to read up on Vietnom protests
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 9:17:38 PM EDT
Oh now I get it kent state, yeah way before my time. The guy made it sound like it was a recent event or thats the way I took it.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 2:33:12 AM EDT
I was in the La. Army Nat'l Guard for 6 years.I enjoyed the full-time stuff (basic and AIT at Ft.Sill , OK. for commo school)But, after we came back from Guatemala, 2 of my professors flunked me for being gone (it was during the spring semester).My guard unit always used to preach that employers and schools could not penalize you for active duty time, i.e. 2 week AT, but did ABSOLUTELY nothing to help.My GPA went down,they took back their tuition exemption, and I could not go to school anymore.I was REALLY frustrated after that ,and my attitude deteriorated.If I had it to do over,I would have joined the regular Army.Plus , I could have probably picked an MOS I wanted rather than being told "all we have are these jobs available".
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 3:00:06 AM EDT
Don't wait too long if you want to join. Your circumstances will change eventually and you might regret waiting. I do. Try to talk to guys that are already on duty and not the recruiters. Many of them lie their asses off to get you signed for whatever they need at the moment. Like Sgt Gold said, GET IT IN WRITING.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 9:27:26 AM EDT
Although I am glad I did it, (28 years retiring as an LTC fro the USAR) another good point, employer support or the lack thereof should be considered. I am a federal employee, but my individual supervisors always held my absences while in the military against me. Do you know what field, career path you will be in? Employer support is often just lip service and I lost many good troops who did not re-up and the mvast majority listed job conflicts as the reason. Family conflicts and a lack of good, ongoing training were other major reasons.
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